Why you should volunteer your time

Volunteer work is an activity which I find extremely underestimated. I absolutely understand that we all live in a world where we cannot stop, even for a minute. But what I’m trying to say is that, while our lives are so busy and hard to manage at times, there are people whose lives are extremely difficult due to the absence of aspects that we take for granted. Our planet is a place where there are hundreds of things to do, but only a few people willing to invest their time in them. But what only a few people know is that volunteer work pays back. And not in terms of cash or goods, but in terms of personal growth, deep relationships and self discovering, something that only meaningful experiences can provide.

What I found out during my last year of volunteer work is that, no matter how little an action may seem to you, it will make a difference for others. It doesn’t matter if you help kids, elders or clean a place, people will notice what you do and reward you in ways you had never thought about. What you find out volunteering your time is that a smile can be the most meaningful action on earth, that a word can make someone’s day, and that, no matter how much you own, you may be the person in need at times, and those people you thought you were helping are the ones who help you the most.

In this article, you’ll find the reasons why you should volunteer your time, and maybe spend a little less time worryig about your own life:

  • You create deep, meaningful relationships. When you volunteer, you meet two kinds of people: other volunteers and the people you are actually helping. Both will offer you something you never thought you needed that much: volunteers are people who are concerned about the same things you pay attention to, and will share their points of view and their experiences about them, making it possible for you to connect with them on a different level. The relationships you’ll build with them will mostly be deep, meaningful ones, and influence your life more than you thought. The people you think need help, in fact, will mostly share their own experiences and, talking to them, you’ll find out how various the world can be, and how absolutely irrelevant the problems you thought were causing troubles in your life are. You’ll find out how happy a person can be thanks to one another and how beautiful a relationship can get when people care about each other.
  • It helps you get rid of stereotypes. We all have stereotypes in our minds, no matter how revolutionary we are. Getting in touch with the people you were scared of will help you get rid of you limited ideas, of your unconscious fears.
  • You see the world with different eyes. Once you find out what some people have to go through, you rethink about everything. You understand the value of an action, you accept that not everything can be perfect and start being grateful for what and who you have in your life.
  • You understand your own worth. When someone cares about you and looks forward to meet you, you start appreciating your own self. You see yourself through the eyes of different people, of people who look at you with a smile, and notice what you are able to do and how big of an impact you have on this world.
  • You master new skills. If you spend time with people with particular diseases, you’ll learn to be understanding and open-minded; if you help kids with their homework, you’ll learn new ways of teaching, you’ll learn how to act with children and how to have their attention; if you join an association that takes care of animals, you’ll learn about different strategies to make them feel loved, as well as, for example, their needs and their reactions to people. The fact is that, no matter what you decide to do, there will always be new things to learn, and to add to your experiences.

Not sure yet on whether it is or it isn’t a good idea to volunteer your time? Feel free to ask anything in the comments, I’ll be happy to answer your questions or offer tips on the topic.

10 underrated skills to learn

There are a lot of underrated skills that will help you into adulthood, and are definitely worth knowing. If you’re looking for something new to learn, here is a bunch of stuff you may be interested in.

  • Learn how to cook. It may seem a clichè, but cooking actually is a really relevant part of life. Not only does it help financially, since you don’t have to always go out to eat, but it can also get very pleasant at times. What are you waiting for? Buy a new cook-book and try out your first recipes.
  • Learn a new language. Learning a new language may take a bit of time, but it will help you keep your mind trained. Language also shapes the way we think, speaking more than one language will help you be more open-minded. If you’re interested in this topic, consider taking a look at this Ted Talk.
  • Start journaling. Journaling is an art, it helps you relax and think about your day at the same time. Like that, it enables you to become creative and to get to know yourself better. You can find a guide on how to keep a journal here.
  • Learn how to write. Writing is something we’re all capable of doing, but how often do you actually write for yourself? Take a course of creative writing, or start trying out different styles. You could begin from a diary and, later on, switch to tales and poetry and, who knows, maybe a novel one day.
  • Learn how to do taxes. I have to confess that I myself cannot do it by myself yet, but I’m planning to learn it someday. It might actually take a bit of time, but it’s something worth understanding in the world we live in.
  • Play a sport. Sports are important to keep you busy and assure you a healthy body. Hit the gym, join a basketball team, run a marathon, I don’t care, get out of your house and move your body.
  • Learn new communication skills. Educate yourself on how to have good conversations. You can find a lot of materials online, such as Ted Talks and mini-guides. Practice what you learn with your friends and see the positive effects that it has on your life.
  • Educate yourself on geopolitical issues of the time. Keep an eye open on actuality and the world news. Humankind needs people who understand the roots of contemporary facts and consequentely know how to act.
  • Understand how to be useful in your community. Volunteer your time, take part in a rehabilitation program and get to know the value of being useful to someone. Believe me, it will help you completely change your views and open your eyes on reality. You can find more reasons why you should totally volunteer your time here.
  • Learn how to take care plants. Plants are a responsibility, not a huge one, but still a responsibility. If you can keep your plants alive, water them daily and make sure they get enough sunlight, you’re at a good point on becoming more responsible.